Friday, May 23, 2003

The peninsular Arabs of pre-Islamic and early Islamic times lived and sang in the heroic style -- tribal, nomadic, warlike, obsessed with battle and vengeance, honor and shame, death and destiny, and personal, family and tribal pride. Their poetry and legends mirror the conceptions and preoccupations of a heroic age. Muhammad, the greatest of them all, was not only a prophet; he was also an Arab hero and a warrior of noble birth.

Bernard Lewis, Islam and the West

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